Rebranding itself could backfire if consumers see the switch as a way to dodge responsibility
In Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet,” it was fair Juliet who quipped, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While this may have held true for star-crossed lovers in Shakespearean times, the same doesn’t hold true for corporations operating today.
Take BP for example. “The energy giant … which once packaged itself as an environmental visionary now confronts the future with a new identity: progenitor of the worst oil spill in American history,” wrote Peter S. Goodman of The New York Times.
Even though BP has worked with the federal government to set up a $20 billion claims fund—which starting last week is being processed by the independent Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF)—the damage done to the BP name and reputation may be irreversible.
Could an inevitable name change be on the horizon for BP? Perhaps. But a corporate name change is not something that should be taken lightly or done hastily. Corporate name changes can be lengthy and expensive propositions.